Client resolves $12 million inventory variance with Protiviti Supply Chain and Loss Prevention Practice

Client resolves $12 million inventory variance with Protiviti Supply Chain and Loss Prevention Practice

Inventory Variance Client Story

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Change Requested: 
Our client, a large retailer of outdoor equipment and apparel, had identified a $12 million unexplained inventory
Change Envisioned : 
Protiviti’s Supply Chain and Loss Prevention professionals collaborated to perform a four-week assessment of our client’s procure-to-pay and inventory
Change Delivered: 
Protiviti’s analysis identified a $12 million inventory variance

Change Requested

Our client, a large retailer of outdoor equipment and apparel, had identified a $12 million unexplained inventory variance between its financial and operational systems. The client believed the variance involved the allocation of costs from the distribution company to its selling channel. However, the variance still could not be identified even after the client deployed an internal team to research it.

Change Envisioned

Protiviti’s Supply Chain and Loss Prevention professionals collaborated to perform a four-week assessment of our client’s procure-to-pay and inventory management processes. This involved analyzing data around various areas within the specific processes to prove or disprove potential root causes identified by our client’s key process owners. In addition, the engagement team conducted interviews with individuals from the field to complement the data analysis and further uncover potential process risk and operational breakdowns.

Change Delivered

Protiviti’s analysis identified a $12 million inventory variance, due to the following causes:

  • $5 million matching variance. Our client had overpaid invoices in comparison to actual items received. The poor percentage of auto-matched invoices (only 55 percent) required manual intervention from an accounts payable department that had been affected by high turnover and understaffing.
  • $2.6 million in duplicate receipts. Our client’s stores were receiving data using two poorly integrated systems, which resulted in inventory receipts being duplicated.
  • $2.5 million freight variance. Our client used freight standards and did not accurately capture the difference between standard and actual freight costs, which had an impact on inventory valuation.
  • $1.3 million unit of measure discrepancy. Our client had used different buy and sell units of measure that were not accurate across multiple systems. This had an impact on how inventory was stored.

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